TeachersFirst's Memorial Day
Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Memorial Day. Whether you choose to focus on Memorial Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
Grades7 to 12
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In the ClassroomWatch the news together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to watch independently on laptops or at a learning station. Use any video or article as a current events writing prompt. Challenge students to create blog posts about them. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Don't forget the many free lesson plans (already aligned to Common Core standards). Click on the Lesson Plans link to explore the countless topics available (Poetry, Veterans, Elections, Ebola, Civil Rights, and more). For articles and videos about conflicts and tension, you might want to have your students engage in a debate using a tool such as ProConIt, reviewed here. Keep your class up-to-date on the news using this site. Provide this link on your class website for students (and families) to access both in and out of your classroom.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse one of the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to deliver a quick lesson on the history of Memorial Day. There are also links to good content on military history, military leaders, and the various physical memorial sites that honor US military veterans.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe History Channel is providing a lot of support for teachers who might want to assign watching the series as extra credit or enrichment, as well as those who can use video clips for lesson introductions or reinforcement. Share the relevant video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have cooperative learning groups each view individual videos and create multimedia presentations about their topic. How about creating an interactive online brochure highlighting the important facts learned from the video? Use a site such as Sway, reviewed here for this. At the very least, the teachers' study guide will provide you with some new ideas or resources!
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group responsible to find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!
GradesK to 8
Note: Please assume that most songs are copyrighted, so please honor the authors and musicians by not distributing these songs. This is intended for classroom use only. This site requires Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomEnhance your reading program with music. Have students listen to the songs while following the lyrics. Keep this site handy for those patriotic holidays. Use this site in social studies classes to learn the meaning behind some of the most popular patriotic songs. Play the sound in the background during class skits for Presidents' Day or other patriotic occasions.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! There are also some practice quizzes and puzzles that would be fun ways to assess students, or have them use the tools to help review the content.
Grades9 to 12
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